Raymond Saá uses tropical plants, fruit and foliage as a metaphor to explore the resilience of Caribbean culture that is transplanted to a new life in the United States. Saá was raised in Miami by his exiled mother and grandparents and his work draws on his family’s experience of displacement and struggle to maintain their Cuban heritage here. He is interested in the way that food, fruits and flowers from the market or the imagination can conjure associations with the old world. At Wave Hill, he has created a new mural for Glyndor Gallery in the transitional space of the entrance foyer. He covers the 19th-century European-style wall surfaces with Caribbean-style tropical plants to demonstrate his ideas about transplanting culture. He renders the plants in stark black and white to hint at the dislocation first generation immigrants experience in a new and competitive culture.
Raymond Saá has had solo exhibitions at Drew University’s Korn Gallery, Madison, NJ; Locust Projects, Miami, FL; Ambrosino Gallery, Miami, FL; Queens Museum of Art, Bulova Center, Queens, NY; and White Columns, New York, NY. His work was included in El Museo’s Bienal – the (S) Files 2005, at El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY and at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR. He completed a public mural commissioned by the City of Miami, FL, and Si las casas pudiesan hablar, two painted houses in the Wynwood section of Miami. He has received Teaching Fellowships through the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as grants from the Pollack Krasner Foundation and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Saá earned his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD, and his MFA from Parson School of Design, New York, NY.